Someone once said: “Life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans.” And so this explains why this week my page is not what I had planned. I have a good excuse, though.

Our son, Lewis, after over a week of false alarms, decided to eventually arrive with dramatic timing. And so I write in that strange sleep-deprived but delirious state that many, I’m sure, will recognise.

I am consequently unable to do justice to the tale I was going to tell, due to lack of time and an incoherence of brain activity due to no sleep for 48 hours! I will therefore leave my planned tale for another time.

So this week, if you will forgive me, I shall go off track and do something else, given that the editor is biting his nails waiting for something to arrive (in truth, this may be a state he is in most weeks while waiting for my story, as the word ‘deadline’ seems to be a flexible concept for me!).

When I first held Lewis I had an unexpected emotion. You see, he is my first boy, for my other children are all girls. As I looked into his sleepy eyes, I thought to myself, “oh no, now I will have to get into football”.

You see, I have never really been a fan of football. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching it occasionally, and during international competitions I become much more involved. I remember, for example, I was once in Prague about 15 years ago when Scotland were playing the Czech Republic during the European Championship qualifiers. I was with Czech friends watching the game on a TV in a pub there.

I vividly recall at half-time we were 2-0 up. But for any Scot this is agony, as the sensation of hope begins to creep in and laps against the more solid knowledge that this hope will probably be dashed at the last minute.

My Czech friends were bemused at my anxiety, saying we were playing well and were ahead. But when the second half arrived, the Czechs came out like lions, scored two goals, and then in the last two minutes scored their third winning goal.

“Told you,” I said to my Czech friends, who commiserated for me, while also celebrating their win. “You are a prophet of football,” said one of them. “No,” I replied, “it’s just that when you’re Scottish you understand the true nature of tragedy.” I remember being totally involved in the game, living every moment of it, worried, elated. I remember the hope draining as the ball went into our net, and those final, nail-biting minutes. But because I don’t really have a club I follow, these football moments are limited to the major international tournaments.

My youngest brother, who is a fanatical Hearts fan (and so truly does understand the nature of tragedy), goes through this emotional rollercoaster every week of the football season.

And now, as I look at my wee boy, I am thinking to myself:is this a part of being a man I missed and which I now must embrace since I now have a son?

I have always played football with my daughters, but never felt the pressure to be football fans with them. And since they showed little interest themselves, I didn’t feel the need to align ourselves to a specific team.

But now I have a son and there is an anxiety that I may fail Lewis because I’m not into football! I know this is ridiculous. Many female friends and family members are into football, so I know that it’s not a gender specific interest. So why do I have this ridiculous anxiety? I think it may relate to my own childhood.

When I arrived in Prestonpans from Pilton, one of the first questions I was asked was what team did I support. “I don’t really support any team,” was not an acceptable answer. I remember knowing that such an answer was to court social death. I would be castigated as weird and unusual. All the boys’ talk was about football, it was like a new language I had to learn.

Most in the town supported Rangers or Celtic, of course, or Hearts, with a few Hibees. Few at my school supported Celtic, although it took me some time to understand why. And so when I realised I needed a team to support I decided not to support the obvious ones.

And so this was how I became a Raith Rovers fan. I chose them partly because it was a cool name, but mainly because the team was relatively unknown in Prestonpans. It meant that my lack of real interest was less likely to be caught out. Nobody else knew much about Raith Rovers, so I could make a lot of very little knowledge on their performance. This I usually acquired briefly from the TV results.

And so I am now wondering if I should continue this tradition with my son as he grows up. Or should I leave him to decide for himself? One of his cousins is a brilliant footballer (the son of my wee brother, of course), but I want my son to know that being a boy doesn’t mean you have to like football, just as being a girl doesn’t mean you have to like pink or not like football.

I want Lewis to be the boy, and the man, he wants to be. But I also want him to know that his role is not defined by football, or anything else. If he develops an interest in football then I will of course support him in this. But it’s OK if he doesn’t.

However, I will keep the Raith Rovers strategy on the back burner just in case, and reveal it to him if needed. It worked for me; indeed, perhaps this was the beginnings of my talents as a storyteller. It kept me in the group conversations just enough to avoid social death, but was a way to avoid too much football talk as well.

In fact, I will leave it to Lewis to come to these conclusions himself, but if he ever asks me what team we support, I have my answer!